"The Question with More Than One Answer Cannot Quell the Curious Amongst Us"
'When Angkor Wat Built' is the second most popular question we get about the Angkor Wat Temple. And most who ask have English as their second language, or are too lazy in include the 'was'.
So, let's mimic them.
The structure hits the curiosity of every person who stands before it.
The answers may be the only way for anyone to make sense of what they have just seen. Something about the place tells you that you are standing in a once very important place.
Perhaps more important than anyone really knows.
Angkor was the largest city in the entire world until The first Industrial Revolution, which began in the 18th century and merged into the Second Industrial Revolution around 1850.
I could probably say its construction was helped along by 'Gods' from the heavens (Or 'Aliens', as we call them today). I bet that there are people who would believe this and to be honest, it would be easier to explain a few things.
Like how they managed to complete Angkor Wat in less than 35 years. The point is that I could say it and people would listen. Not everyone but enough to surprise.
I feel bad telling you this but we only built this page to "head-off" the hundreds of emails we get a month asking this very same question about Angkor Wat in exactly the same way, every time.
The two most asked questions we get are this one and "Why was Angkor Wat Built'
So, When was Angkor Wat built?
Everyone from Scholars to Amateurs Archeologists will tell you that Angkor Wat was built during the first half of the 12th Century.
Some are even so bold as to say "Angkor Wat built between 1113AD and 1150AD". But those are the exact dates of King Suryavarman II and his reign of Angkor from 1113AD - c. 1150AD.
I'll say that Angkor Wat Was finished in 1145ad and construction began in 1110AD.
I only lived and worked in Siem Reap for 6 months. I made 4 other independent trips to Angkor and the archeological park. That sure doesn't make me an expert.
I still treasure any opportunity to look in the research books on Angkor and I am not the only one. There really is huge interest in the whole of the Angkor Archeological Park and knowing how old the Temple is and when Angkor Wat was built lets you know just how old it really is.
I always looked at the question of 'When was Angkor Wat Built' in a different way. I always saw it as a time-stamp on the rise and fall of one of the greatest civilizations to have ever existed.
The Angkorian people first appeared in 802AD and then disappeared in 1432AD. Angkor Wat is a time stamp because it marks the time when the Angkor civilization was at the zenith of its power.
There are also hints that the construction of Angkor Wat might have contributed to the demise of the Angkorian People.
So, there are 2 ways to answer the question of when Angkor Wat was built. It was built between 1110AD and completed in 1145AD. The carvings on the temple were ongoing and lasted much longer.
The main structure was completed in 1145.
Angkor Wat was also built during the most powerful period in the lifespan of the Angkorian people.
The video below is just a marvel. I had to include it because it strikes the intrigue button and introduces a new technology into the study of Angkor Wat.